An Associated Press article published today at the Washington Post online site reports the regrouping of a once-feared Shiite militia, cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army, to ensure U.S. forces stick to a Dec. 31, 2011 deadline to withdraw from Iraq -- threatening attacks on American troops if they stay past the date.
Al-Sadr disbanded the militia in 2008, after it had been crippled by defections and a U.S.-Iraqi crackdown. Sunnis fear the revived force will turn its firepower against their community in vengeance for recent bombings which targeted Shiites, a move that could revive the fierce sectarian bloodshed that nearly tore the nation apart in 2006 and 2007.
The prophet Jeremiah saw violence in the Iraqi cities, which forces the occupiers to abandon the nation --
"I shall set fire to his cities, and it will devour all his environs... The
broad wall of Babylon will be completely razed, and her high gates will be set
on fire; so the peoples will toil for nothing, and the nations become exhausted
(because of the) fire... 'We applied healing to Babylon, but she was not healed;
forsake her and let us each go to his own country, for her judgment has reached
to heaven and towers up to the very skies," (Jer. 50:32; 51:58; 51:9).